Right from the day Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Sule (Danmasanin Kano) passed away on 3/7/2017, to date; his generosity, piousness, patriotism and patience were featured in virtually all the tributes in his honour.
I had the privilege of witnessing all these virtues from him in my physical interactions with him during his lifetime! Here, I’m not referring to my contacts with him at meetings and other public functions.
I’m referring to my one-to-one with him either at his office or residence. My meetings with Danmasani were ritualized especially in the year preceding his departure. Looking at the class like nature of my meetings with the man at his office or residence, he interestingly named it, a “Class of Learning”.
Generosity, patience, smart appearance and what he is most known by all people with: knowledge or oratory, are his attributes that are most memorable to me.
It can be recalled by my avid followers on Facebook that I narrated my visit with Mal. Isah Abbas Ahmad, a man from Zaria and a fellow disciple of Danmasani, to Danmasani at the eve of one Eid ul-Adha. We first met him at his Dawaki road GRA residence and engaged in grandfather-grandson jokes; in the process he teased Mal. Isah, as it is customary between the people of Zaria and those of Kano. The former are considered as the slaves of the later in the tease. Our host then asked us to go along with him to his Unity road residence which he converted to his office in Kano metropolis.
Before we left for Unity road, one of Danmasani’s assistants in the person of Alhaji Adamu informed him that, an important personality sent some rams for Eid ul-Adha sacrifice to him. No sooner was he informed that he listed some poor people and instructed that all the rams should be distributed to them! We were wowed.
On our arrival at the Unity road office, we met some aged poor people patiently awaiting him to come and give them their rams. He told them that there was no any remaining ram, but they could wait, if any arrived, he would give them. This gesture vindicated Danmasani as generous person. Despite the blindness that befell him since 2005, yet he remembered and called a person by his name when he heard his voice again, having heard it once or more before, even if that was many years back.
His patience was more clearly demonstrated one day when I led a delegation of Kano youths from the venue of a lecture on a certain Youth International Day. The lecture was delivered by Mal. Murtala Adogie. Unbeknown to us, among us, there was an insane. After Danmasani completed his brief talk, full of humour and lessons especially for the Nigerian youths, the insane person went in to full action! It was a question and answer session between the host and his guests. The insane person interrupted Danmasani at the time he was responding to a question. We ordered him to hold on until Danmasani subside, but he ignored us and just went ahead with his madness speaking some abracadabra. When we learned that he was trying to move nearer to our host, we, like a nurse in a lunatic asylum when his patience begin to be violent, gripped him to prevent him from unleashing another version of his madness. Inspite of Danmasani’s unhappiness with the bad occurrence, he told us to allow the man to finish his talking. When he concluded, Danmasani cautioned him with gentility and admonished him to be respectful of elders. I have no iota of doubt that, if it were a different personality not Danmasani, he would have sent us out, but Danmasani, out of his understanding and patience pardoned the man due to his madness and didn’t allow that affect the audience he gave us. [This translator was proudly among these visitors who witness this madness and the perfect handling of it by Danmasani.]
Cleanliness is another attribute of Danmasani that some tribute writers did not mention. I have never seen a person of Danmasani’s age that was as clean as him. Danmasani was a clean person. “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, it is said. You will certainly be impressed with pre and post dinning cleanliness of Danmasani. He would rinse his mouth, cleaned the mouth and his hands with towel and spray perfume on the hands and garment after the meal as if he would take no any meal subsequently. His shoes were always polished, his clothes clean, starched and ironed, just as new! His cap is always starched, shiny, well folded and in a slanting position and pushed a little bit to his forehead. His eyes are normally behind designer glasses. Though octogenarian, but Danmasani was dandier than many youths at their prime!
As youths, we have to emulate these kinds of attributes of Danmasani. His exit is a huge loss to all of us. Considering how virtually all youths posted their pictures together with Danmasani especially after his demise on social media, it became evident that he loved youths. In his lifetime, every youth wanted to visit him, hear his wise talks and have a pose with him, despite that no any amount of money was paid to them for doing that. May Allah rest his soul in perfect peace as his death marks one year..
Rabiu Shamma is a Journalist and a Public Commentator based in Kano.
A Desciple of “One-To-One Danmasani’s “Class of Learning”.